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Futility: novel on Russian themes Unknown Binding – 1922


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Richard Cobden-Sanderson (1922)
  • ASIN: B0006AISTY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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And then it struck me that the only thing to do was to fit all this into a book. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm writing a quick review because no-one else has and I feel, after just finishing the novel, that it deserves a positive comment. The book follows the life of an english man in Russia through the war and revolution. It centers around his relationship with an extended Russian family, all dependant upon the father Nikolai, and his hopes of one day making money from a gold mine he owns. The story revolves around a romance between our narrator and one of the daughters of the family. The backdrop is Russia, both its seasons, landscape and the futility of revolutionary bloodshed.
The book asks, do we live our lives, or do our lives live us? The protagonists of the story are swept along by events of which they have little control, but hoping that things will get better, some time in the future. This happens on the large scale to Russia itself, and on the smaller scale to our hero who cannot quite make the right effort at the right time, and whose hopes pass by.
It has the feel of a Russian novel but also reminded me (a bit)of T S Eliot.
It asks many existential questions without being dry or intellectual. It is well written and easy to approach. Most of all, though being set in an historical setting and being semi-autobiographical, the themes of the book are just as relevant now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gerhardie must be in stitches! 17 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
No, this is not The Wreck of the Titan, this is the brilliant tragicomedy of Russian life that has inspired so much laughter, tears, and admiration since it was first published in the 1920's. As the subject is the comic hopelessness of love and success, I'm sure the author is very amused (posthumously)to find it mistaken for a book about a shipwreck in all of these reviews. But if you end up here, by mistake or not, do read this book, because it is horribly funny and poignant and true.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Now I've actually read the book, its wonderful 26 Mar. 2004
By Seamus Sweeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Now I've read it, I recommend - nay, DEMAND - that every man woman and children in the English speaking world reads this brilliant novel. Waugh said "I have talent, while he has genius" - having read Doom and The Polyglots since, this shows that genius at its best. Highly recommended (obviously) - readers who enjoy Anthony Powell and Waugh will particularly love Gerhardie.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is not Morgan Robertson's "Wreck of the Titan" 14 April 2001
By Seamus Sweeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I actually haven't read the book, but came here on foot of a recommendation from William Boyd in the Times Literary Supplement. This is not Morgan Robertson's "Futility - the Wreck of the Titan" - as other reviewers seem to think!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Paranormal? 3 Dec. 2000
By "mowglee" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was told of this book by a friend who claimed that it told the story of the ill fated ship - Titanic but it was wrtten 14 years before Titanic sailed. Strangely enough he was correct. Though the plot is ordinary by today's standards, the eerie feelinge once gets in noticing the similarities between Titanic and th story in this book ensures a top rating.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Paranormal? 3 Dec. 2000
By "mowglee" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was told of this book by a friend who claimed that it told the story of the ill fated ship - Titanic but it was wrtten 14 years before Titanic sailed. Strangely enough he was correct. Though the plot is ordinary by today's standards, the eerie feelinge once gets in noticing the similarities between Titanic and th story in this book ensures a top rating.
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